Cognisco, a specialist in people risk and employee behaviour, has launched a new ‘soft skills’ assessment to help organisations identify and address any gaps in their employees’ core soft skills
Soft skills including communication and interpersonal skills, decision making and teamwork are often overlooked by businesses in favour of technical skills, however, research suggests that soft skills can determine how well a company performs.
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Mary Clarke, CEO at Cognisco comments: “Tackling the soft skills deficit is crucial as these skills inadvertently complement hard, technical skills and help companies retain business and promote long-term sustainability. Undervaluing the importance of soft skills can mean companies having problems retaining clients or having a high staff turnover, meaning they waste resources having to keep retraining people.
“They may also have a management function that lacks effective leaders if soft skills are overlooked when recruiting or promoting people. Our assessment provides management with the insight and analytics around the specific gaps their workforce may have in certain soft skills areas, allowing them to plan appropriate training and resources to address specific need.”
A report titled: The value of soft skills to the UK Economy prepared on behalf of McDonald’s UK, one of the UK’s largest private sector employers, earlier this year suggested the soft skills deficit is set to cost the UK economy £8.4 billion per year by 2020 in lost production if not addressed now.
These often intangible qualities can be harder to assess than someone’s qualifications and technical skills, but they are increasingly sought after as more business leaders are recognising their importance. Indeed many surveys have shown that young people especially lack proper people skills, which is a worrying trend for the future.
A British Chamber of Commerce Workforce Survey this year found that 57 per cent of employers cited a lack of soft skills such as communication, resilience and team working, as the main reason why young people are unprepared for the world of work.
To address this, the soft skills assessments developed by Cognisco enable companies to evidence both the competence and confidence across management and leadership teams, meaning their workforce improves and maintains the desired skillset across the following areas: Communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, time and self-management, decision-making and initiative-taking and taking responsibility